Comparing Liverpool’s next five games to Manchester City and Arsenal; one game changes everything

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The injury list is ever-growing at Liverpool adding to the anxieties of the fanbase ahead of the looming tie with Manchester City in March.

Still, it’s not all doom and gloom, with the Merseysiders sitting pretty at the top of the table, albeit by a sole point.

With all competitions left to play for (including a Carabao Cup final tie on Sunday), supporters have plenty to look forward to. In even better news, despite the expectations of many, there are still some Carabao Cup Final Tickets left in circulation for fans to take advantage of and cheer on the Reds to a potential record 10th League Cup trophy against Chelsea.

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Liverpool’s next five fixtures

Luton Town (H) – today

Chelsea (Carabao Cup final) – 25/02

Southampton (FA Cup – H) – 28/02

Nottingham Forest (A) – 02/03

Manchester City (H) – 10/03

We’d be kidding ourselves if we were to say we weren’t thinking five games ahead to that crunch meeting with Pep Guardiola’s side.

That said, we’d argue our upcoming cup clash with Chelsea may be the most important fixture of all.

Hear us out. Liverpool’s squad has been decimated by injuries, there’s no question about it. Yet, our fringe stars – of the likes of Jarell Quansah, Harvey Elliott and Cody Gakpo – have continued to deliver.

The trio in question have certainly been invaluable presences in the League Cup and there’s a good argument for all three starting at Wembley.

Beat Mauricio Pochettino’s men in London with a squad far from its full prowess and who knows what kind of impact it could have on this team’s mentality.

It would certainly add, one might think, to that whiff of destiny hanging around this Liverpool side in what is Jurgen Klopp’s final season in charge.

Arsenal’s next five fixtures

FC Porto (A) – today

Newcastle (H) – 24/02

Sheffield United (A) – 04/03

Brentford (H) – 09/03

FC Porto (H) – 12/03

Arsenal aren’t in a title race if you were to ask Liverpool legend John Barnes (quoted by Metro): Arsenal were in a better position last year, but I’ve said since the Premier League started: March, April is when you really start to look at who the runners and riders are, because you have teams like Aston Villa and Tottenham who [looked like contenders] six weeks ago.

“When you’re coming into the end of February and March, it’s all about can you just get a result, and Man City are all-conquering, all dominant in that respect.

“Liverpool for me are the closest challengers because there are certain games where Liverpool haven’t played well but have got a result.

“Arsenal have to play well to win and if they don’t play well they may not win, and that is why as much as they’re doing well now, I still think it’s between Man City and Liverpool.”

To be fair to Mikel Arteta’s men, we think they have a better chance than some are prepared to give them.

It does, however, depend massively on how well they juggle the demands of Champions League knockout football and the league.

We have a feeling they may be forced to prioritise one competition over the over shortly.

Given the gaping absence of Champions League silverware in their trophy cabinet, Arteta may lean towards Europe.

Manchester City’s next five fixtures

Bournemouth (A) – 24/02

Luton Town (FA Cup – A) – 27/02

Manchester United (H) – 03/03

FC Copenhagen (H) – 06/03

Liverpool (A) – 10/03

All eyes will be on Erik ten Hag’s in-form outfit before the Sky Blues cross the M62 to take on Liverpool at Anfield.

It seems unlikely that the Red Devils will extract anything from their city rivals at the Etihad, of course.

Yet, few could have predicted Chelsea holding off the incumbent league champions on home territory.

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